I'm still a little excited so forgive the typos and lack of detailed observation on my part.
I have owned an 1999 RS with a 5spd, and now a 2001 Forester with an auto, so I'm sorry to say that a bunch of old people with H6 Outbacks are going to tear our 2.5L engines a new one regardless of the type of tranny.
I just drove the LL Bean edition Outback. First thing I noticed was the leather or fake leather everywhere. It had a brown wood trim Momo wheel that looked just like the WRX ones. Climate control (finally) which was a little confusing to figure out and heated seats that were nice since it was -1 degrees.
I know I know, get to the H6!!! I let it warm up and took it for a spin down some city and gravel roads. Don't worry all you new car buyers, I didn't abuse it, well except this one time but I had to know. I think most of us would have tried it once. I found a spot on a gravel road, stopped and put it to the floor. Wow!!!!! I'm sorry but my 5spd RS could not compared to this H6 with an automatic in acceleration. I had hardly any wheel spin(duh, AWD!) but I hit 70 mph before I knew it in a very short distance. I couldn't keep from smiling. All I could say to the saleswoman, is I want the engine...don't like the car, want the engine....
Unfortunately, it's still an Outback and I don't care for the interior or the power seats because I feel cramped in them. I was told that the H6 might be available in the 2002 or 2003 Forester. As much as I wanted the new WRX, I think I'm going to wait for the H6 Forester.
Don't take my word for it, go drive one...that extra 50 or so hp and torque makes a huge difference.
Also, they had the VSD model, but you can't disable the VSD system. I would only consider it if I could. Not that I'm a great driver, but how much do you want you car to drive for you. Kinda creepy. Besides, I bet it won't let you mess around in the snow.
[This message has been edited by FargoRS (edited December 23, 2000).]